Tips to Getting that Balanced Mix You Want,
This is the scenario. You’ve spent hours to get that perfect mix. You’re so excited to listen to it on the way to work tomorrow, so you export it, and save it on your iPod. Morning comes too early as usual, but you’re still eager to listen to that mix!
You hop in your vehicle, plug in your iPod, and at first, the mix is so satisfying to your ears! The song you wanted to hear again! But half way through the song.. you start to pick apart your mix, “The kick isn’t loud enough, the vocals aren’t sitting on top of the mix, I can’t decipher my instruments in their own place of the mix”.
This has happened to me all too often, so I can definitely relate! Mixing takes a long time to learn and perfect, if perfect is even a word in mixing ;).
Through my trial and errors of mixing, a trick I’ve come across while creating my albums is called the Final Listen.
If the scenario above happens to you on the regular, or you feel that you’re mixes don’t keep up to the industry’s, then listen up!
Playing the Mix All the Way Through,
Once I’ve mixed the song accordingly, attempted a bit of mastering, and feel the song is now complete, I will hit stop. This is important an important step before proceeding with exporting.
Listen to your song from beginning to end. In this listen, which I call the final listen, I will closely listen for any discrepancies. Is an instrument too loud? Are the vocals not standing out? What about the instruments, do they all sound clear?
From here, I will make adjustments as needed, and repeat the final listen as necessary.
The final listen approach has been something that saves me a lot of time when it comes to exporting MP3’s, testing them on different systems, and hoping they sound good.
Don’t get me wrong, if it’s an album, I still test on different systems, however, this cuts down the amount of times of trial and error drastically.